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XF2R Dark Shark

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XF2R Dark Shark

The Ryan XF2R Dark Shark was an experimental aircraft built for the United States Navy that combined turboprop and turbojet propulsion. It was based on Ryan's earlier FR Fireball but replaced the Fireball's piston engine with a General Electric T-31 turboprop engine driving a huge 4-bladed Hamilton propeller.

The turboprop made for much improved performance over the Fireball, but the Navy showed little interest in it; by that time, they had abandoned the idea of the combination fighter and were instead looking into all-jet fighters.

The United States Air Force, however, showed a little more interest; they were at the time evaluating the Convair XP-81 of similar concept, and asked Ryan to modify the XF2R to use the Westinghouse J-34 turbojet instead of the General Electric J-31 used previously. Modifications to the prototype created the XF2R-2, with the jet intakes moved to the sides of the forward fuselage with NACA ducts instead of the inlets in the wing leading edge used before.

Although the Dark Shark proved to be a capable aircraft, it never got further than the prototype stage; all-jet aircraft were considered superior.


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